By Victor Gai and Joachim Bandawa.
Taking a stroll at mid-night to the Abuja neighbourhood of Jalingo, and to be precise the Mobel Link Hotel, on certain days of the week, one would notice music blaring in the air, party freaks hanging out with friends at the premises, while some hang out casually with friends outside the party hall in the relatively dark corners of the vastly sprawling complex.
This centre of attraction consist of medium rate lodgings, a club, an eatery and a bar. On a good day, it is a conducive place to unwind with a potpourri of services like bar services, receptions, roasted fish, chicken and snacks. These services attract visitors, mostly the working class, usually after working hours and weekends.
However, of late, the utilitarian value of this relaxation spot has been abused and made an eyesore by the presence of young men and women, some of whom are juveniles, who are in the habit of partying at night.
Even though there is no big deal going out for relaxation and partying, but the rate at which this spot is attracting under aged persons of all sexes calls for serious concern. In its wake is the increasing cases of social vices like drug abuse, prostitution, gangsterism, drunkenness, violence and public disturbance.
Investigation has it that, clubbing takes place on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and the gate fee is N1000 per individual, irrespective of sex and social class.
One fact that beats the imagination is despite the relatively high cost of service in this Joint, the party halls and bar are usually filled beyond capacity with mostly under aged boys and girls. Drinks, snacks and ticket sells above the average price in the city. One then wonders how these folks get money to pay for services, except that some may squeeze out money through unwholesome means like prostitution and the likes.
The proof of this fact is not far fetched as the premises of the hotel, after each party, is littered with used condoms, empty bottles of alcoholic drinks and sachets of hard drugs, which residents complain of.
Besides, residents of the neighbourhood, complain of noise emitting from the party hall. As a matter of fact, music from this party hall vibrate as far as mile six area, about three kilometers away, perhaps because the hall is upstairs.
This menace has become a source of concern for residents who complain a lot. Some residents who would rather remain anonymous complain of lack of sleep, as a result of noise since the club began operation.
This is no thanks to the fact that the party hall lacks sound proof, of which the proprietor, Chief Uche Obi vehemently denied. ‘There is sound proof’, he responded when confronted by Taravoices on the issue.
The residents lament that their comfort is being denied them and their rights abused, all in the name of pursuit of wealth of an individual.
Interestingly, some of the ladies that patronize this spot are ready to sell their body for a pittance just to have something for the next party day. This reporter observed that an average female clubber, mostly in their teens could take as low as N700 for this service.
Also, violence has become the order of the day in this popular spot. Recently, a drunk lover who was ignored by his equally drunken girlfriend, gave her the beating of her life and before you knew it, she was crouching in the gutter. That episode almost resulted to a gang war, which could have been fatal anyway.
Worst of all, the presence of security men is hardly felt.
Well, the saying goes ‘different strokes for different folks’. Despite the negative portrayal of this hot spot, business thrives there all night long thereby generating employment for so many youths who are engaged in selling food, drinks, fruits and provisions. Commercial tricycle riders also wait to lift customers to their homes no matter the time of the night
According to the Proprietor of Mobel Link Hotel, the very fortress that attract the bubbles in the area, Chief Uche Obi, there has never been a case of killing or injury to customers of the place. He stated those expressing fears about violence were ignorant of the real situation on ground. ‘Those that are saying all these things, are they members?
If you are not a club member, how can you know what is happening in the club’, he asked. He added that neighbours who are disturbed about happenings in the hotel ought to call his attention, which none have done so far.
He concluded that all he was doing was to offer services in the interest of the public.